Within an Inch of His LifeWithin an Inch of His Life
M. Seneschal's horse was perhaps one of the very best in the whole province; but M. de
Chandore's was still better. In less than fifty minutes they had driven the whole distance
to Boiscoran; and during this time M. de Chandore and M. Folgat had not exchanged fifty
When they reached Boiscoran, the courtyard was silent and deserted. Doors and windows
were hermetically closed. On the steps of the porch sat a stout young peasant, who, at the
sight of the newcomers, rose, and carried his hand to his cap.
"Where is Anthony?" asked M. de Chandore.
"Up stairs, sir."
The old gentleman tried to open the door: it resisted.
"O sir! Anthony has barricaded the door from the inside."
"A curious idea," said M. de Chandore, knocking with the butt-end of his whip.
He was knocking fiercer and fiercer, when at last Anthony's voice was heard from
"Who is there?"
"It is I, Baron Chandore."
The bars were removed instantly, and the old valet showed himself in the door. He
looked pale and undone. The disordered condition of his beard, his hair, and his dress,
showed that he had not been to bed. And this disorder was full of meaning in a man who
ordinarily prided himself upon appearing always in the dress of an English gentleman.
M. de Chandore was so struck by this, that he asked, first of all,--
"What is the matter with you, my good Anthony?"
Instead of replying, Anthony drew the baron and his companion inside; and, when he had
fastened the door again, he crossed his arms, and said,--
"The matter is--well, I am afraid."
The old gentleman and the lawyer looked at each other. They evidently both thought the
poor man had lost his mind. Anthony saw it, and said quickly,--